Industri[us] is a not-for-profit enterprise with a clear economic and social purpose: to put vacant building sites to creative short-term use to the benefit of the local economy and community. The aim is to help kick-start a longer-term transformation by bringing intense activity and attention to derelict areas.
Situated opposite Canning Town DLR, the Industri[us] ‘Festival of Upcycling’ ran from March until August 2012. It supported a number of existing upcycling businesses and start-ups – many directly from Newham – making and selling products from furniture and art, to jewellery and fashion. The project was created entirely from borrowed, used or reusable materials – from pavers from nearby Olympics roadworks to plants from Chelsea Flower Show. In the process, the project provided paid training opportunities and work experience.
65,000 tonnes of quality reusable products are currently put into landfill by London households each year. Only 10% of this is currently being diverted away from landfill sites by re-use organisations. Newham however, is still the heart of the traditional East End ‘rag and bone’ trade – as well as receiving deliveries of quality recyclable materials, Industri(us) has arranged for its upcyclers to be able to collect materials from the many local recycling plants.